Indian Parliament

The possibilities are high. After being quite for a while on the nuclear deal issue, the Congress and the Left parties are once again started raising the decibel levels. This appears to be for a parting of ways just before the Parliament elections. That does not mean that they would not again come together, if there is scope for forming a government after the elections.

The Left parties have little to gain by fighting the coming Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the Congress. They have strength only in Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal where Congress and its allies are their opponents.

If the Left fights the elections with the Congress, CPI (M) has hardly anything to gain. It cannot win a seat in Tamil Nadu with the help of Congress. (The help of Dravida Munnetta Kazhakam- DMK is another matter. That is why there will be more than one round of consultations before the Left pulls out.) The CPI has been practically wiped out in most of the States other than the three. So, it too has not much to gain from the alliance. The RSP has already quit the coordination committee.

The Left knows that the incumbency factor and the people’s dismay over the price rise would work against them if they stay with the Congress. If they part ways, they can create the impression that they are opposed to the Congress and its policies.

The Congress too has little to gain from a truck with the Left. It may get some votes, sometimes crucial, in some pockets in several States across India (excluding Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal). However, the Leftists are not going to vote the BJP under any circumstances. So, in most pockets those votes could be cornered by the Congress and its allies even if there is no formal understanding with the Left.

In short, electoral exigencies will decide the parting of ways of the Left and the Congress rather than differences over nuclear deal with the United States.

Seat Position in Lok Sabha